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Mongol TV looks West again

Mongol TV has renewed a number of its US and UK imports as well as prepping a Dutch format as a daily strip and eyeing Korean opportunities.

The channel, currently transforming Mongolian television with a Westernised programming strategy, has renewed US dramas Homeland, The Good Wife and Hawaii Five-O from CBC Studios International, as well as UK hit Downton Abbey from NBCUniversal.

The acquisitions all debuted in February, when the four-year-old channel launched its refreshed programming schedule, with local productions, localised formats and acquisitions.

The network is also working on a second season of children’s gameshow Go 4, based on a format from Belgian prodco Sultan Sushi, acquired via sister company Red Arrow International.

“We did 20 episodes of Go 4 in mid-season and we’re now prepping another 20 for mid-season next year,” said Michel Rodrigue, CEO of The Format People, who is consulting with the Mongol channel’s CEO Nomin Chinbat on its new programming plans.

The channel is also adapting 20-year-old comedy quiz format Who Am I?, acquired from Dutch sales house Absolutely Independent, as a daily primetime strip debuting mid-September.

“It’s an older format but it’s a good one, and it will fill the 20.00-20.30 slot until the end of December,” added Rodrigue, former boss of Distraction Formats.

“We’re also looking at a Korean primetime reality format with a view to possibly doing a ‘carousel production’ deal with the producers. If that goes ahead, we’d fly our contestants, host and director to shoot our show using the Korean set.”

As well as overhauling Mongolia’s television landscape with its new programming strategy, Mongol TV has been instrumental in bringing a new audience measurement system to the country.

“A local franchise of Kantar Media has installed audience measurement boxes in 125 households in Ulan Bator and since we re-launched in February, we’ve become the number two network in Mongolia after the public broadcaster,” said Rodrigue.

“There are plans to increase the sample size to 300 households by the end of the year. That would be one home per thousand, which is the international norm.”




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